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Series: The Viking Portable Library

Series by cover

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Works (114)

American Literature Survey, Vol. 1: Colonial and Federal to 1800 by Milton R. Stern
American Literature Survey, Vol. 2: The American Romantics 1800-1860 by Milton R. Stern
As You Were by Alexander Woollcott1
The Portable American Realism Reader by James Nagel
The Portable Beat Reader by Ann Charters
The Portable Charles Lamb by Charles Lamb
The Portable Edmund Burke (Portable Library) by Edmund Burke
The Portable Emerson [New Edition] by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Portable Enlightenment Reader by Isaac Kramnick
The Portable Hannah Arendt by Hannah Arendt
The Portable Jack Kerouac (The Viking Portable Library) by Jack Kerouac
The Portable Jack London (Viking Portable Library) by Jack London
The Portable Louisa May Alcott (Viking Portable Library) by Louisa May Alcott
The Portable Malcolm Cowley by Malcolm Cowley
The Portable North American Indian Reader by Frederick W. Turner
The Portable Paul and Jane Bowles by Paul Bowles
The Portable Russian Reader by Bernard Guilbert Guerney
The Portable Western Reader by William Kittredge
The Portable Steinbeck by Jr. Pascal Covici2
The Triumph of Life: Poems of Consolation for the English-Speaking World by Horace Gregory3
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker4
The Portable World Bible by Robert O. Ballou5
The Portable Hemingway by Ernest Hemingway6
Six Novels of the Supernatural by Edward Wagenknecht7
The Portable Shakespeare: Seven Plays, the Songs, the Sonnets, Selections from the Other Plays by William Shakespeare8
The Portable Reader's Companion by Louis Kronenberger9
The Portable Carl van Doren by Carl Van Doren10
The Portable Walt Whitman by Walt Whitman11
The Portable Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe12
The Portable Murder Book by Joseph Henry Jackson13
The Indispensable F. Scott Fitzgerald by F. Scott Fitzgerald14
The Portable Novels Of Science by Donald A. Wollheim15
The Portable Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde16
The Portable Woollcott by Alexander Woollcott17
The Portable Faulkner by William Faulkner18
The Portable Faulkner: Revised and Expanded Edition by William Faulkner18
The Portable Irish Reader by Diarmuid Russell19
The Portable Mark Twain by Mark Twain20
The Portable Rabelais by François Rabelais21
The Portable Thomas Wolfe by Thomas Wolfe22
The Portable Ring Lardner by Ring Lardner24
The Portable Emerson by Ralph Waldo Emerson25
The Portable Blake by William Blake26
The Portable Elizabethan Reader by Hiram Haydn27
The Portable D.H. Lawrence by D. H. Lawrence28
The Portable Maupassant by Guy de Maupassant29
The Portable James Joyce by James Joyce30
The Portable Thoreau by Henry David Thoreau31
The Portable Dante by Dante Alighieri32
The Portable Conrad by Joseph Conrad33
The Portable Johnson & Boswell by Louis Kronenberger34
The Portable Chekhov by Anton Chekhov35
The Portable Veblen by Thorstein Veblen36
The Portable Swift by Jonathan Swift37
The Portable Hawthorne by Nathaniel Hawthorne38
The Portable Greek Reader by W. H. Auden39
The Portable Plato by Plato40
The Portable Voltaire by Voltaire41
The Portable Sherwood Anderson by Sherwood Anderson42
The portable Charles Lamb, by Charles Brown Lamb, John Mason,43
The Portable Milton by John Milton44
The Portable Matthew Arnold by Matthew Arnold45
The Portable Medieval Reader by James Bruce Ross46
The Portable Chaucer by Geoffrey Chaucer47
The Portable Coleridge by Samuel Taylor Coleridge48
The Portable Poets of the English Language I : Langland to Spenser by W. H. Auden49
The Portable Poets of the English Language II: Marlowe to Marvell by W. H. Auden50
The Portable Poets of the English Language III: Milton to Goldsmith by W. H. Auden51
The Portable Poets of the English Language IV: Blake to Poe by W. H. Auden52
The Portable Poets of the English Language V: Tennyson to Yeats by W. H. Auden53
The Viking Portable Library Poets of the English Language by W. H. Auden54
The Portable Henry James by Henry James55
The Portable Roman Reader by Basil Davenport56
The Portable Cervantes by Miguel de Cervantes57
The Portable Melville by Herman Melville58
The Portable Arabian Nights by Joseph Campbell59
The Portable Gibbon: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon60
The Portable Renaissance Reader by James Bruce Ross61
The Renaissance Reader by Kenneth J. Atchity61
The Portable Nietzsche by Friedrich Nietzsche62
The Portable Age of Reason Reader by Crane Brinton63
The Portable Romantic Reader by Howard E. Hugo64
The Portable Greek Historians by M. I. Finley65
The Portable Prescott by William Hickling Prescott66
The Portable Hakluyt's Voyages by Richard Hakluyt67
The Portable Stephen Crane by Stephen Crane68
The Portable Victorian Reader by Gordon S. Haight69
The Portable Jung by Carl G. Jung70
The Portable Arthur Miller by Arthur Miller71
The Portable Nabokov by Vladimir Nabokov73
The Portable Graham Greene by Graham Greene75
The death of Parcy Reed76
The Portable Walt Whitman: Revised Edition by Walt Whitman78
The Portable Saul Bellow by Saul Bellow79
The Portable Thomas Jefferson by Thomas Jefferson80
The Portable Thomas Hardy by Thomas Hardy82
The Viking Portable Library American Literature Survey: 2: The American Romantics 1800-1860 (Revised and Expanded) by Milton R. Stern86
American Literature Survey, Vol. 3: Nation and Region 1860-1900 by Milton R. Stern87
The Viking Portable Library American Literature Survey: 3: Nation and Region, 1860-1900 by Milton R. Stern87
The Viking Portable Library American Literature Survey: 4: The Twentieth Century by Milton R. Stern88
The Portable Bernard Shaw by George Bernard Shaw90
The Portable Tolstoy by Leo Tolstoy91
The Portable Machiavelli by Peter Bondanella92
The Portable Oscar Wilde: Revised Edition by Oscar Wilde93
The Portable Conservative Reader by Russell Kirk95
The Portable Karl Marx by Karl Marx96
The Portable Kipling by Rudyard Kipling97
The Portable Edmund Wilson by Edmund Wilson98
The Portable Dickens by Charles Dickens99
The Portable Twentieth Century Russian Reader by Clarence Brown100
The Portable Abraham Lincoln by Abraham Lincoln103
The Portable Nineteenth-Century Russian Reader by George Gibian103
The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader by David Lewis105
The Portable Darwin (The Viking Portable Library) by Charles Darwin109

Series Information

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Series description

A series of anthologies of great authors and important works, first published in 1943 by the Viking Press. The series was created by American author and critic Alexander Woollcott. By the end of the 1950s, the original sixty-three hardcover volumes were being replaced by paperbound editions. These continued to be revised, as a few more new volumes appeared, into the early 1970s. Some hardcover editions appeared once again in the early 1970s, including the Portable Saul Bellow and the Portable Graham Greene, but the paperback versions would remain the preferred format. The books were numbered after the first ten volumes (and most of the first ten later numbered retroactively), with a number such as "P51" or "51" appearing on the sail of the Viking ship which adorned the spines of the Viking Press editions.

In 1975, the Viking Press was purchased by Penguin Books, and new editions of the Viking Portable Library began to appear. In many cases, the books in new livery were identical to hardcover editions of the 1940s and '50s, but Penguin also added new titles to the range. A further design change in the early 1990s saw the books grow to the more customary trade paperback size, with many titles again being reprinted with uniform white spines. In the most recent incarnation, the Portable Library has been formatted to match Penguin's current black spine design. New titles continue to appear.

The numbering system from the Viking days persisted into the early 1990s, with the sequential numbering being preserved in the ISBN (the Portable Library ISBN began "014015", the three digits after this were the P-number, followed by a check digit), but this numbering has been abandoned by Penguin. The last volume which appears to have followed the classic system would have been P109, the Portable Darwin, published in 1993. Numbering for volumes published after 1993 is based on publication date and is merely for convenience. Multiple unexplained gaps in the numbering, however, make this a difficult system to keep straight.

Several reprints to the series have occurred, including the Book Society "Indispensable" series of the late 1940s and early 1950s, and a bargain-priced remainder series published by Random House in the mid-1980s. But none of the reprint series have reproduced the entire series, and many of the early volumes have been replaced by new, revised versions, or have gone completely out-of-print.

Related people/characters


How do series work?

To create a series or add a work to it, go to a "work" page. The "Common Knowledge" section now includes a "Series" field. Enter the name of the series to add the book to it.

Works can belong to more than one series. In some cases, as with Chronicles of Narnia, disagreements about order necessitate the creation of more than one series.

Tip: If the series has an order, add a number or other descriptor in parenthesis after the series title (eg., "Chronicles of Prydain (book 1)"). By default, it sorts by the number, or alphabetically if there is no number. If you want to force a particular order, use the | character to divide the number and the descriptor. So, "(0|prequel)" sorts by 0 under the label "prequel."

What isn't a series?

Series was designed to cover groups of books generally understood as such (see Wikipedia: Book series). Like many concepts in the book world, "series" is a somewhat fluid and contested notion. A good rule of thumb is that series have a conventional name and are intentional creations, on the part of the author or publisher. For now, avoid forcing the issue with mere "lists" of works possessing an arbitrary shared characteristic, such as relating to a particular place. Avoid series that cross authors, unless the authors were or became aware of the series identification (eg., avoid lumping Jane Austen with her continuators).

Also avoid publisher series, unless the publisher has a true monopoly over the "works" in question. So, the Dummies guides are a series of works. But the Loeb Classical Library is a series of editions, not of works.

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